Maximo Point Excavation

Maximo Point Excavation

Members of our board of directors, along with members of Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, assisted the City of St. Petersburg’s Parks and Recreation Department with work at Maximo Point.

In April, members of our board of directors, along with members of Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society, assisted the City of St. Petersburg’s Parks and Recreation Department with work at Maximo Point. Shoreline erosion had exposed a portion of the water line pipe in the park. We placed two units at the entrance and exit locations for the direct drill water line installation work the city would be performing. Our goal was to document and identify any intact prehistoric and historic cultural material. Specifically, we wanted to see if evidence from Maximo Hernandez’s homestead of 1843-1848 was still present at the site. Hernandez obtained ownership of the property under the Armed Occupation Act of 1842 and was the first white settler on the lower Pinellas peninsula. We found from our limited excavation an intact upper midden layer with early historic artifacts, including a clay pipe stem, pieces of lead, a shell button, and a salt-glazed stoneware sherd. We also unearthed a few prehistoric pottery sherds and a projectile point. However, we ceased excavations in both units when we reached the intact prehistoric component because we did not want to disturb cultural material that would not be disrupted from the water line work. Another benefit from this small project was that we were able to talk with employees from the City of St. Petersburg’s Parks and Recreation Department about archaeology and AWIARE. The crew was very engaging and asked some great questions.

Elizabeth Southard

Grant Recipient Studies Pottery Production

AWAIRE / Levitt Grant Recipient Studies Tampa Bay Pottery Production

University of Florida Ph.D. student, Trevor Duke, is analyzing pottery from the Tierra Verde mound (8PI51) in the Lyman Warren Collection curated at AWIARE.

University of Florida Ph.D. student, Trevor Duke, is analyzing pottery from the Tierra Verde mound (8PI51) in the Lyman Warren Collection curated at AWIARE.  This research is being funded in part by an AWIARE/Levett Foundation Grant.  According to Trevor, “Tierra Verde’s assemblage is unparalleled for a site in this region for its diversity in style, form, and surface treatment. My preliminary technological analyses of Weeden Island and Safety Harbor sherds housed at the AWIARE research lab indicates that a variety of potters of differing skill levels made mortuary pottery in and around Tampa Bay.”  Pottery samples from Tierra Verde and the Safford Mound (8PI3) in Tarpon Springs are being prepared for petrographic analysis and Laser Ablation-Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry. These analyses allow archaeologists to assess the mineral and elemental content of clays used to make pottery, which ultimately can highlight pottery production hotspots in both Tampa Bay and across the Southeast. The most recent phase of Trevor’s project has involved the extraction of charred residue from potsherds for radiocarbon dating. Obtaining dates from sampled sites will help to identify the timing of specific changes in pottery production practices in the Tampa Bay region, which is paramount for understanding the development of social networks.